We are unbelievably excited to now offer all of the supplies needed to dye your own yarn, as well as classes on hand dyeing. As a maker, hand-dyeing yarn offers another way to connect to the work you create. The process is a beautiful way to use everyday inspirations like sunsets, fog shrouded beaches or flower gardens, and recreate them in a skein of yarn.
Colour is one of the highest forms of expression. Nature is illustrative of the emotional impact of colour – the happiness we associate with bright red and pink blooms and lush greens or the calmness of grey blues at dusk. For thousands of years, humans have strived to harness the colours of nature, through primitive inks, paints and dyes. Hand-dyeing textiles and yarns began as a process from deriving colour from plants – sources in nature like berries, roots, and flowers that were heated from the sun to release their colours.
Two of the most popular yarn dyes are acid dyes and natural dyes. Natural dyes are the primitive, plant-derived dyes discussed so far, whereas acid dyes are a standard within the textile industry because they are fast and effective. They hold their colour and work well with yarns made from animal protein fibres such as wool and silk. While the name may sound intimidating, acid dyes are safe when used correctly. We stock single Jacquard Acid Dyes as well as Ashford Wool Dyes Kits, which are a weak acid dyes that can be fixed with white vinegar. The Ashford Wool Dye kit includes twelve different colours that can be combined to produce endless results. They can also be used on fabrics and felts.
Natural dyes are derived from different plants and work beautifully with a number of protein fibres. While natural dyes are more environmentally friendly than acid dyes, the colour results can appear more subtle and be more prone to fading over time. Both natural and acid dyes yield the best results from protein fibres. We have a variety of undyed, Bare yarns available that are made from different animal fibres like merino wool, and blends of merino wool, silk and cashmere.
We currently offer hand-dyeing classes working with Ashford's Wool Dyes. The response to the classes has been overwhelming with all of the dates selling out, so check back as we will be adding more dates! For plant enthusiasts, we will be expanding into natural dyeing classes soon. Follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter for dates!